Travelocity’s Case Against Cleartrip – CEO And Director Arrested, Released

Yesterday, Cleartrip CEO Stuart Crighton and Director Amit Taneja participated (read arrested) in the investigation conducted by ACP Surender Singh, Gurgaon Police. The arrest was made based on a complaint made by Travelocity in December 2009, which accused Cleartrip of stealing data, and in doing so, caused large losses for the company. Though the duo were arrested, they were released immediately as they had already got anticipatory bail.


Travelocity’s Case

In 2007, Travelguru acquired for $25 million, and the MD for Desiya was Amit Taneja. Then in 2009, Travelocity bought Travelguru and subsequently sacked Mr. Taneja. In their complaint, Travelocity has accused Amint Taneja, along with Sanjeet Singh and Imran Ansari both of whom were earlier employed with Desiya, to have leaked data to Cleartrip.

Cleartrip’s Defense

Cleartrip’s COO, P.K.X. Thomas believes that this problem started when Travelocity realized that Mr. Taneja was to join Cleartrip after he was sacked. Upon realizing this, they tried their level best to get back the services of Taneja but to no avail. According to Mr. Thomas, this is a clear cut case of professional rivalry and the case has no truth to it whatsoever.

So whose side should we believe? Well according to investigations in 2009, police revealed that initially Travelguru had assigned Amit Taneja and Sanjeet Singh were assigned to meet customers which comprised of hotel representatives of numerous hotels and book rooms for their customers. However, once the duo left the company and joined Cleartrip, they continued to meet these clients. Also, the police believe that these former employees of Travelguru downloaded a list of customers and future assignments from their work computers to their laptops before they left the company.

If this is the case, then the CEO and Director are bound to be arrested again. But we all know how some cases like these can be extended for a very long time. On their part, Cleartrip on their blog have defended their officials. What is your take on this?

7 Responses to “Travelocity’s Case Against Cleartrip – CEO And Director Arrested, Released”

  1. Kapil
    August 10, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    I think Travelocity should learn the Indian way of doing travel business. Information can be gathered in no time for any new company. Stealing that will not any way will be an advantage to Cleartrip. Customers will see the quality of services.

  2. August 10, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    The case depends on whether the data theft can be proved with some evidence.

    Its natural for a hotel to deal with multiple travel websites and for an individual to continue leverage his previous contacts.

    Travelocity could have informed its client that Mr so n so doesn’t represent them anymore and have a better information security for their computers

  3. spicjetter
    August 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Its very clear that Cleartrip hired Amit Taneja for the database of hotels and travel agents he had by virtue of his employment in Travelguru. If in fact, Taneja had taken along the Travelguru hotel database and contacts and passed that to cleartrip, then this would be a serious crime. In our country people dont get punished for activities like this but its a crime neverthless. Look at the US – HP CEO is fired for a moral offence.

    Instead Cleartrip will shelter their CEO and Taneja and make accusations about a global company strong arming the judiciary.

    I hope the full truth comes out …. Both Stuart and Taneja have dubious pasts. Stuart was fired from Abacus for wrondoings and Taneja from Travelguru. Birds of a feather flock together.

  4. Sanjay Setha
    August 10, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    Glad that Taneja got arrested. He stole the business model, programming code, and database information, from his former employer Expedia. He’s a cheating scoundrel

  5. Indigojetter
    August 11, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    I assume Travelocity must have strong non-compete clauses in their aggreements with Taneja and despite that Stuart went and hired him. Obviously Stuart and Taneja are spitting in their faces by not respecting these clauses.

    Normally companies dont really care if their ex employees join a rival but in this case Taneja was the MD of a company they acquired – obviously he had a lot of the data they paid for in the acquisition. He should not have joined Cleartrip if he was under non-compete after selling his company to Travelocity. That is questionable ethics. Somebody at Travelocity who approved the acquisition probably has a lot of explaining to do to his higher ups.

    Can you imagine? You buy a company for all its information and technology assets and then the CEO (who has sold you his company for money) joins a competitor. Thats ridiculous!!

    I wonder if the Cleartrip board must have Okayed the hiring.

    The plot thickens……… Picture abhi baki hai!

  6. Hemant
    August 14, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    I Think Travelocity is facing some tough competation in Travell business from other competitors. Being a No.1 and Giant Travel company,travelocity should have used their resources and compete with cleartrip and other travell portals in a business(and not to behave like a chiled who is complaining about other child, Come On!!its a business grow up…!! ).Insted off damaging company image and thus hoping to defeat the competitors, Travelocity should concentrate in a business to compete with the cleartrip and other competitors.

  7. September 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Misuse of data is really a serious offence. The person must be punished for that.
    But the points which has been obligated, seems not authenticated. As far Hotel DATA is concerned, it can be easily available within a day. Even the travel sites are based upon their strong data only. It can be easily prepared.
    And of course while a person is working for a company he earns strong relations with their assigned area. Even because of PR he is safe in his job.
    And if he leaving his job, than it counts as experience, how it could be erased from his past. Even if the Travelocity hiring , he also required the experienced employee. Who can do start from day 1.
    So really I’m not fully convinced with Travelocity the way they are offending them.

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